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Book Review < Back

Mail Order Bride

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Mark Kalesniko
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books


Canadian toy shop owner, full-time geek and longtime virgin Monty Wheeler finds the guts to obtain for himself Kyeug Seo, the Korean mail order bride of the title. Monty is physically weak. He prefers the company of old people and children because there is no competition in their presence. He practically withers when faced with his boisterous, disappointed family. Emotionally, he's barely there. He is a coward. But he's not the only one. And this story is as much about Kyeug, straining at the boundaries of the oppressive toy-filled house, the oppressive small Canadian town, and the oppressive pre-planned life she finds herself locked in. She never wanted to be a small man's fantasy. She wanted to live and breathe and blossom, to become someone else...

...because everyone asks what kind of man gets a mail order bride, but no-one ever asks what kind of woman becomes one.

Kalesniko is sharp, in any definition of the word: the dialogue is incisive, razored, and the illustrations slash across the page, cutting deep into two people whose lives are sliding out of view. Brilliantly vicious.

-- Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis has written around thirty graphic novels, comics, prose fiction, journalism, videogames and screenplays. Sometimes he take photographs. He also creates and co-creates websites, including this one. He has awards and stuff, he's been in big magazines and newspapers, and he's been published in Nature, which he always mentions because it makes him laugh. He's on the web at warrenellis.com and diepunyhumans.com.


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